There are mainly two types of actors in the industry. First are the stars, the glitterati whose very presence alleviates even a mediocre story into something worth spending money on, and then there are the select group we would like to call “the bankable artists”, the ones who might not be the main focus in a commercial flick, but they provide us the assurance of quality of craft even if the script is passable at best.
One such Bankable Artist is Kay Kay Menon. His filmography is testament to his versatility and continuous good work over the last 20 years. He started his acting career in advertisements for respected brands like Honda & Marlboro, before landing theatre acting assignments opposite the great Nasseruddin Shah which gave him recognition amongst the acting connoisseurs. His first movie came out in 1995, called Naseem which did not fare well. But good things were yet to come to our actor in focus.
Life…in a Metro, Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, Gulaal & Haider are some of his most accomplished works and which most of us have watched multiple times. Therefore, in this write up, we look at some of his better work in movies which might not have got the deserved eyeballs.
Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh—
Before Dum Laga Ke Haisha there was Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh and both the movies had exactly the same tagline “Love comes in all sizes”. Main, Meri Patni Aur Woh was about a short statured man, Rajpal Yadav, who is married to a lovely and devoted wife, but his size makes him insecure and jealous of anyone who interacts or befriends his wife. It is a beautiful movie and Rajpal Yadav is spot on as the insecure husband. But Kay Kay Menon left a mark with his portrayal of the charismatic and talented Akash who comes into the married couple’s life like a swift breeze and without any foul intentions, makes the husband’d insecurities multiply. This movie also had the famous “Guncha Koi” song which catapulted Mohit Chauhan into singing stardom and the song was made memorable as it was picturized on Kay Kay. The director came in for deserved acclaim for treating the subject as a light comedy instead of entirely focusing on the negative aspect of jealousy of the protagonist.
Bollywood is not particularly famous for making honest adaptations. But on rare occasions, it gets its act together when the actors are at their very best. Shaurya is the Bollywood remake of the 1992 Tom Cruise starrer A Few Good Men. And as acting aficionados will remember, that Hollywood movie had one of the most powerful scenes ever in a movie, the courtroom scene. It was delivered with panache by the legendary Jack Nicholson. For the Hindi remake, Kay Kay Menon took over the iconic role of the Military head and the results were fantastic. Mr Menon not only put his own signature on that famous court room scene, but also made us realize that it does not matter how long your part is in a movie, it is all about the quality you bring to the performance. As Brigadier Rudra Pratap Singh, he was equal measures domineering and a symbol of power.
Honeymoon Travels Pvt. Ltd.—
This comedy made us tickle with its quirky characters and scenes. With an ensemble cast and tight script, the movie revolved around six newly wed couples on their honeymoon. Kay Kay Menon played the role of a simple and awkward Bengali husband travelling with his equally shy wife.Through an encounter with a bunch of thugs, Partho, the husband, finds out his timid housewife holds a black belt in martial arts, as she defeats the crooks without breaking a sweat. Also, as the movie progresses, both the husband and wife find their crazy inner side. It is a lovely movie and a mirror to many of the couples we can see around us. Inspite of the short screen time, Kay Kay’s Partho Sen is one of the characters that the audience embraced whole heartedly.
A short but strong role and another measured performance from this artist. As War Saab, Kay Kay Menon is pivotal to the eventual transformation of Shahid from a misguided youth to a lawyer fighting for the innocent. The movie was all about Rajkumar Rao and his honest and gripping portrayal of Shahid, but every cine goer remembers the part played by Kay Kay simply because of the gravitas and self assuredness he brought to the character. The movie was a hit with the critics and the public alike and the stellar cast was commended for its depiction of this real life story.
Kay Kay Menon has made a neeche for himself in both commercial and serious movies. He mostly plays the supporting part, but rest assured he never gets overshadowed by the more popular names in any of his movies. An artist who speaks his mind, he won a lot of praise for his outright criticism of the award shows in Bollywood. He said, “Award functions are a big sham. It’s a money-making television programme.” And we agree. As avid followers of movies, we thanks Kay Kay Menon for what he has done over the years and with Bollywood seemingly maturing in the content being served, we just hope there are more characters written for an actor of his talent.
Disclaimer: The images used in this blog are the sole property of the creators of these films and are not owned by us in any form whatsoever